How To Lower Stress And Boost Energy
Based on a 2017-2018 survey, around 2.4 million Australians 18 or older reported very high or high levels of stress. That’s 12% more than in 2014-2015, explains the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Given the current pandemic and economic downturn, stress has become an even bigger issue.
When you go to the store, you will come across plenty of herbs, supplements, and vitamins designed to reduce stress and boost energy levels. Some of them can even be found in foods and soft drinks. The good thing is, you don’t have to rely on different products to get your stress and energy in check.
There are natural ways you can use to give your body the boost it needs. Here is a list of tips that will come in handy.
Useful Tips on How to Reduce Stress
Anxiety and stress are common problems. People feel pressured and drained on a regular basis. But, many self-applied techniques can provide psychotherapeutic properties. If you regulate your emotions, you can manage your stress levels, research shows. Here is a collection of the most practical techniques that can help.
- Practice Yoga
Yoga is more than just a simple stretch. It is a relaxation technique that uses therapeutic exercises to decrease anxiety and tension. It works on both psychological and physical levels. Yoga is a mind-body practise that uses controlled breathing, relaxation, and meditation to decrease stress.
But, it can also reduce the heart rate and blood pressure. The best thing about it is that anyone can do it. All you need is a comfortable mat, room space, and commitment. There are a couple of simple and complex poses to try. It doesn’t require any equipment.
The goal of yoga poses is to loosen up the tension in the muscles, particularly in the areas where the body carries most of the stress. That includes the back, shoulders, and neck. The key is to practice and perfect each pose and do it as often as possible.
- Perform Breathing Exercises
Focusing on the breathing pattern has more to offer than people realise. Studies indicate that with 12 weeks of modified slow breathing exercise, volunteers managed to reduce their perceived stress and boost their cardiovascular parameters.
According to experts from the National Institutes of Health, a slow breathing exercise can follow a single breathing cycle. Scientists and trained instructors studied the effects of a modified slow breathing exercise, which involved holding the alternate nostril and focusing on slow rhythmic breaths.
To start, volunteers blocked the right nostril and inhaled through the left one. They slowly counted to 6 as they breathed in the air. Then, they held their breath for 6 seconds before exhaling through the right nostril. They inhaled through the right nostril, again for 6 seconds, and held their breath for another 6 seconds. The expiration was done through the left nostril for 6 seconds. They repeated the cycle for 30 min with a 5 min break.
Based on the results, breathing exercises, such as this one, helped significantly reduce the stress caused by an imbalanced and hectic lifestyle. But, more research is necessary to study its full impact.
- Do Mindful Meditation
Mindful meditation helps you focus on being aware of your surroundings, feelings, and emotions without judgment or interpretation. It uses guided imagery, meditation, and breathing to relax the mind and body.
This technique decreases stress response. Based on clinical reports, mindfulness affects two stress pathways in the brain. It changes the activity in the areas linked to emotion regulation and attention and alters the brain structure.
Guided imagery provides a convenient and pleasant relaxation, while breathing allows the system to de-stress. Guided imagery is as simple as enjoying vivid daydreaming by gaining access to your inner wisdom.
Often done with the help of an instructor, it uses imagination, inner voice, or audio recordings to achieve a deep state of relaxation. People activate their senses to create a relaxing scene in their minds that helps them overcome stress or emotional distress.
- Use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is the most popular short-term form of psychotherapy. It is based on the concept that the way people think about different things impacts the way they feel. CBT incorporates strategies that provide patients with a confidence boost. So that they can deal with the stress with ease, in other words, manage the stress inside out.
Clinical trials show that this therapy can significantly lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients and help them deal with stress. It can also help boost their quality of life. It provides people with a new perspective on their current situation, allowing them to take control of their emotional and physiological well-being.
Handy Energy Boosting Tips
Just like with stress, you can provide the body with a natural energy boost. No need to rely on too much caffeine, sugar, or energy drinks. All you need is a practical strategy to get your body back on track. Here are a couple of tips you should try.
- Exercise on a Regular Basis
The more you exercise, the more the body produces mitochondria. The more energy you use, the easier it is to replenish those sources and create more energy. It's no wonder why people who just exercised feel a lot more energized than those who recently got out of bed and didn't feel like doing anything.
According to medical specialists, the benefits of physical activity for energy levels are twofold. Meaning that regular fitness not only does it provide the system with energy but also elevates the mood. Therefore, it contributes to both physical and mental well-being.
- Stop Smoking
Nicotine exposure found in cigarette smoke alters the brain feeding regulation and reduces the appetite. This affects both the reward and energy homeostatic mechanisms. Thus, smokers experience a negative energy state, which is easy to recognise from the decreased energy intake and increased energy expenditure.
This habit also poses a serious risk for heart problems, respiratory dysfunction, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. If you want to get your energy back and avoid possible health risks, then you should try to manage the addictive behaviour.
- Get Some Sleep
Around 20% to 30% of the general population is not getting enough sleep. This is making them feel exhausted, grumpy, and lethargic. If you too feel this way, then you should manage your sleeping schedule.
For adults, 7 to 8 hours of sleep creates the perfect rest. Some people might need more if they are doing more physically exhausting work. Without sleep, however, it will be difficult to get through the day. You won’t have the energy, motivation, focus, and concentration to do everything you want to accomplish.
- Cut Back on Alcohol
Consuming alcohol can make people feel tired. That's because ethanol acts as a mild sedative, which makes the user feel drowsy. Because of that, people use an alcoholic drink to fall asleep easier. But, drinking on a regular basis will interfere with their quality of sleep and make them feel even more tired.
Ethanol is also a diuretic. This means that if you drink it before bed, it can keep you awake at night. So, it's normal for it to interfere with your energy levels in the morning. Experts recommend drinking in moderation, about two or fewer drinks for men and one or less for women a day. Anything more than that can impact their energy levels.
How Can Dietary Changes Help Lower Stress or Boost Energy?
Of all the ways to reduce stress and boost energy, diet is on the top of the list. Based on the 37 approaches recorded in 2019, a diet comprised 77% of webpages, fruit 69%, vitamins 67%, antioxidants 52%, probiotics 51%, and minerals 50%.
A healthy diet can counter the impact of stress by amplifying immune function and reducing blood pressure. Eating a balanced meal packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals can manage the physiological changes caused by stress.
While the healthy fats, proteins and carbs you eat will fuel and energize the body. To obtain these results, it is best to:
- Eat frequent but smaller portions. This is a practical choice that provides a consistent source of energy.
- Don’t overeat. Eating too much puts a strain on the metabolism and circadian rhythm.
- Avoid crash diets. Since inadequate calorie intake and nutrition can cause fatigue.
- Stay hydrated. Hydration helps carry the nutrients to the cells and removes the waste.
Although minerals and vitamins don’t actually provide energy, they do take part in the nutrient conversion process. This process converts the nutrients into fuel for energy. That’s what makes diet such a valuable addition to your physical and mental health.
Many people feel stressed and exhausted, especially with their hectic schedule. But, just because the problem might seem overwhelming, it doesn't mean you can't solve it naturally. Plenty of options can help ease the stress and boost energy. The tips listed here can show you the ropes. If you don't think you can handle it alone, it is best to ask for professional help. Sometimes we need a push in the right direction to get the desired effect.